Brutal Russian bombings in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region ordered authorities to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians there over the weekend.
The call from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky came after Russian forces had occupied nearly two-thirds of the key area and continued to fire rockets at the rest of it.
“The more people now leaving the Donetsk region, the less people the Russian army will have time to kill,” he said late saturday night,
“There is a government decision on mandatory evacuation from the Donetsk region, everything is being arranged,” continued Zelensky. “Full support, full support – both logistics and payment. We only need to decide from the people themselves, who haven’t made it for themselves yet. Go on, we’ll help.”
According to Ukrainian estimates cited by the BBC, 220,000 citizens live in Donetsk. Ukrainian authorities first urged people to get out, the outlet notedAfter the Russian army failed to capture the area around Kyiv and instead focused on the east.
According to the New York Times, an evacuation order now could prevent the crisis from worsening in the winter, with major electrical infrastructure damaged.
“We are not Russia. That’s why every life is important to us,” said Zelensky. “And we will use all available opportunities to save as many lives as possible and to limit Russian terrorism as much as possible.”
He called on the US and other countries to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, citing reports of an explosion at a Russian-run prisoner of war camp last week that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners.
“Legal steps should be taken on behalf of the world community against the terrorist state. Condemnation at the level of political rhetoric for this mass murder is not enough,” Zelensky said. [there] After that be with the terrorist? What kind of trade can be done with such a country?
Russia on Friday accused Ukraine of a deadly attack, which Kyiv vehemently denied.
The US has sent billions of dollars in military and other aid to Ukraine since Russia launched an offensive on February 24. But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been reluctant to add Russia to the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“The costs imposed on Russia by us and other countries are commensurate with the consequences of its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Blinken said on Thursday. “So what we’re doing has the same practical impact.”
The next day, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield gave the world a grim warning.
“Russia wants to destroy Ukraine as a geopolitical entity and completely dissolve it from the world map,” He said United Nations Security Council.
The Kremlin is “preparing the ground” for annexing more Ukrainian territory, through steps such as installing “illegitimate proxy officers” in the newly occupied territories.
The current war is widely seen as a continuation of Russia’s aggression in 2014, when it occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
Earlier this month, Russia and Ukraine signed agreements to send previously blocked grain out of the besieged country. The ban on exports of millions of tons of staples has led to a sharp rise in food prices around the world.
A Ukrainian grain tycoon and his wife were killed in Russian missile strikes in the southern city of Mykolaiv over the weekend, local officials said.
According to the BBC, Oleksiy Vadatursky owned Nibulon, a business involved in grain exports.
Vadatursky was working on the modern grain market, Zelensky saidCalling his death “a great loss for all of Ukraine”.
news with wire services